On one side of town the soldiers came marching in. The people watched the parade and cheered loudly. They were the heroes. They were the conquerors. They brought a violent peace to all who lived in the lands they occupied. They came to town on war horses. Everyone at this parade had better cheer . . . or risk prison, injury, or death.
On the other side of town there was another scene. Less people were gathered, but it was still a large crowd. Jesus came into town not on a warhorse, but on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Have you ever caught the two-animal description in Matthew 21:1-11?) He was peaceful, kind, and seemed to bring in not a hero’s violent peace, but rather something real. The people shouted, spread cloaks and branches on the road, and praised the one riding into the other side of town. And people were confused. This wasn’t the same parade. This was not a crowd of soldiers. Many wondered why everyone was cheering. They cheered and also asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds around Jesus said that he was the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.
And so began the week leading up to Jesus’ death.
I think a whole bunch of people still had no idea who they just saw.